Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Podcast Me Maybe

When I was in college, many moons ago, I took a history course called "The History of Pop Culture". It was the best class and we studied everything from dime novels to circuses to the Beatles to internet gaming (I will never forget my middle aged professor looking over his lectern and shouting "LEEROY JENKINS!"). One of my favorite sections was on the rise of radio and the golden age of radio plays. There was something wonderfully exciting about listening to those old shows. The Shadow always knew, there were hilarious comedies and wonderful variety shows. Remind me why we invented television again?

Sadly, the radio age is long gone (unless you think Clear Channel making "Call Me Maybe" a hit is just another glory day for radio) but the internet is taking everything good about those days and making them digital.

Enter the podcasts.

I'm fascinated with the idea of podcasts though I don't listen to many. The last podcast drama I listened to was the beyond outstanding radio play of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, produced by the BBC and staring James McAvoy as Richard Mayhew and one of my internet boyfriends Benedict Cumberbatch as the Angel Islington. I was completely enraptured with the play and totally immersed in the experience. I decided then and there that I needed more of this.

Since I am a Twitter addict, I somehow began to follow the account for the Welcome to Night Vale podcast. Their tweets were a delightful balance of messed up wisdom, bizarre anecdotes and eldritch advice. Exactly my cup of tea. The podcast is even better. It's like a town in a Tim Burton movie has become sentient, learned how to work a computer and decided to report on itself. I implore you to listen to it. Don't be scared. (No, really, it can smell your fear).

So, fellow internet travelers, tell me about the podcasts you listen to and what makes them awesome. I'd love to find more to listen to!
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4 comments:

  1. Neverwhere! Loved it so very much. It made me hungry for more podcasts too.

    Tea & Jeopardy by Emma Newman is fun: authors like Chuck Wendig and Karina Cooper visit Newman's volcanic lair. http://www.geekplanetonline.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=itemlist&task=category&id=144:tea-jeopardy&Itemid=363

    The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences - lots of short stories. I'm pretty sure you can listen to all without having read the books. They are shorts about the various agents and cases around the world: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-ministry-peculiar-occurrences/id424756892

    I must try the Night Vale now!

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  2. Thrilling Adventure Hour! "The nation's favorite new-time podcast in the style of old-time radio" written by Ben Aker and Ben Blacker. I mean really, enough said.
    Oh, and although I haven't actually listened in yet (shame on me) Seanan McGuire, Elizabeth Bear, and Co. won a Hugo for their podcast "SF Squeecast" where they talk about books, video games, movies and all things SF and geeky.

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  3. Podcasts are awesome! I listen to many of them each week, often while at work of driving.

    First, I wanted to recommend the Slice of Sci-Fi podcast which comes in both audio and video forms. They discuss all sorts of genre-related topics and have a active listener community of "Slicers" that contribute to the show.

    http://www.sliceofscifi.com/

    Another show that discusses genre topics and has excellent interviews is Geek's Guide to the Galaxy, which was formerly hosted by io9, now it is over at Wired:

    http://geeksguideshow.com/

    For audio fiction podcasts, there are the Escape Artists! There is PodCastle for fantasy, EscapePod for science fiction, and Pseudopod for horror.

    http://escapeartists.net/

    The award-winning Clarkesworld Magazine also has an audio fiction podcast, it's pretty awesome:

    http://escapeartists.net/

    Knight_of_Pentacles from io9

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  4. HOLY CRAP THANK YOU FOR INTRODUCING ME TO THIS. I can't even! Cecil and Carlos are the cutest thing in existence and the non-sequiturs on this show have me in hysterics. So far I've converted one friend onto the podcast, but it's so hard to explain beyond big eyed staring at people going, "LISTEN. LIIIIIIIIIISTEN. DO IT NOW."

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